Lower Mississippi River (LMR) dredging update

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commenced channel maintenance dredging efforts in Southwest Pass for Fiscal Year 2023 (FY 23) on January 29, 2023, with the hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction).


The Mississippi River Ship Channel deepening project recently achieved another milestone when the New Orleans Baton Rouge Steamship Pilots Association (NOBRA) increased their maximum draft recommendation to 50 feet from Mile 175 Above Head of Passes (AHP) to Mile 88 AHP. The previous draft recommendation had been limited to 49 feet above Mile 106 AHP (Huey P. Long Bridge).

USACE previously completed Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the historic project to deepen the Mississippi River Ship Channel Deepening (MRSC) to 50 Feet. The areas of the Ship Channel that required dredging to provide the deeper draft channel were mechanically deepened up to Smoke Bend at Mile 175 AHP. The channel above Mile 175 AHP is expected to be mechanically deepened in Phases 3-5 (estimated) by 2027.

The industry hopper dredge GLENN EDWARDS (Manson Construction) resumed dredging in SWP from Mile 3.5 BHP to Mile 5.0 BHP on the evening of March 11 after a brief hiatus to respond to channel conditions outside of the LMR.

The GLENN EDWARDS completed Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #2-2021 and is now working under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #1-2022 an FY 23 early award hopper dredge rental contract, that is expected to be completed in late July (2023).

The industry hopper dredge PADRE ISLAND (Great Lakes Dredge & Dock) will begin work under Southwest Pass Hopper Dredge Rental Contract #2-2022 in late March 2023. This is the second of the two early award hopper contracts for FY 23.

USACE hopper dredge WHEELER worked in SWP under Readiness Exercise #1-2023 from February 23 to March 11 (2023). The WHEELER is scheduled to resume dredging operation in SWP under Readiness Exercise #2-2023 this week, working until April 3 (2023).